Friday, May 4, 2007

The Queen - not on the screen

{visual description: Queen Elizabeth II passes by a military honor guard during her visit to the US.}

Queen Elizabeth II arrived in the US yesterday to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. These are excerpts from her address in which she extended condolences for the Virginia Tech tragedy, spoke of the friendship between the US and the UK, diversity and noted the historical significance of the anniversary of Jamestown (links were added for further reading):

"As a state, and as a nation, you are still coming to terms with the dreadful events at Virginia Tech on the 16th of April. My heart goes out to the students, friends and families of all those killed, and to the many others who have been affected, some of whom I shall be meeting shortly.
On behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, I extend my deepest sympathies at this time of such grief and sorrow.

Human progress rarely comes without cost. ...Over the course of my reign, and certainly since I first visited Jamestown in 1957, my country has become a much more diverse society, just as the Commonwealth of Virginia and the whole United States of America have also undergone major social change. The "melting pot" metaphor captures one of the great strengths of your country, and is an inspiration to others around the world, as we face the continuing social challenges ahead. It is right that we continue to reassess the meaning of historical events in the changing context of the present, not least in this, the 200th anniversary, in the United Kingdom, of the act of parliament to abolish the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

But such reassessments should not obscure one enduring consequence of Jamestown. This 400th anniversary marks a moment to recognize the deep friendship which exists between our two countries.

Friendship is a complex concept. It means being able to debate openly, disagree on occasion, surmount both good times and bad, safe in the knowledge that the bonds that draw us together, of history, understanding and warm regard are far stronger than any temporary differences of opinion.

The people of the United Kingdom have such a relationship with the people of this great nation. It is one of the most durable international collaborations anywhere in the world, at any time in history, a friendship for which I certainly, in my lifetime, have had good cause to be thankful.

That is a lasting legacy of Jamestown that is something worth commemorating. And that is why I am pleased to be here today."

Click above for the full text of her speech.

Interested in the history of Jamestown? Click here for more.

1 comment:

goldchair said...

This is a historic event. She hasn't visited in so many years that when she does come, the timing is interesting.